Union Leaders Display Radical Side at Post-Election Occupy Rally
Need more proof that Wisconsin public employee union leaders and the radicals in the Occupy movement are close allies who share a common agenda?
Check out the video we shot of the Occupy Milwaukee rally and march that occurred last Wednesday, the day after the gubernatorial recall election.
On the podium was local American Federation of Teachers activist Brian Verdin, telling the crowd that the "struggle" against "capitalism" was going to continue, regardless of the election result.
Silly us. We thought the election was just about removing one man from office. Was there wording on the ballot regarding a popular revolution to overthrow America’s economic system?
Also speaking was AFSCME Local 82 President Gilbert Johnson, who went into a racial tirade, accusing Wisconsin voters who supported Gov. Scott Walker of being "a bunch of haters" who prefer "white man rule."
In the crowd stood Milwaukee Teachers Education Association President Bob Peterson, who looked embarrassed when questioned about rubbing elbows with the likes of Verdin.
The Occupy rally, which began at Milwaukee’s Pere Marquette Park Wednesday evening, spilled onto city streets and sidewalks. Some of the protesters forced their way into traffic and blocked streets and intersections, according to Fox6Now.com.
Police in riot gear kept the unruly crowd as controlled as possible, and five arrests were made. One protester was arrested for obstruction/resisting an officer while four were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct.
Among the speakers who fired the crowd up was Verdin, a Milwaukee Area Technical College instructor and member of the American Federation of Teachers.
The self-avowed Marxist Verdin, whom EAGnews exposed for telling a Greek audience, "Socialist ideas are as American as apple pie," used the Occupy rally to continue his rant against free markets and America’s economic system.
"I would just like to say that this is a very, very, very beautiful movement that we have in Wisconsin – a very beautiful movement," he said. "In spite of the fact that whoever counted them votes yesterday, all of us already knew that the struggle was going to continue no matter which lieutenant of the capitalist class got elected."
Verdin also told the crowd he was very proud of his own union. "We raised hell this last year," he said of the AFT. We hope he isn’t a good example of a typical instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College.
Standing in the crowd during the speech was Peterson, who played a big role in the union effort to recall Walker. But when EAGnews.org producer Jeremy Segal approached Peterson, the union president couldn't get away quickly enough.
Wearing his Occupy-style "fist" pin, Peterson claimed he had just "walked in" to the rally – despite being an ardent supporter of Occupy.
When asked about the arrests that day, Peterson denied any knowledge. And when the radical Verdin was pointed out, Peterson was quick to say, "He’s a former member – he’s not working."
Peterson was probably alluding to the fact that Verdin is a former Milwaukee Public Schools teacher and MTEA member. But they both attended a rally that can only be described as a gathering of revolutionary Marxists. And Peterson did not seem to object to Verdin’s fiery remarks about overthrowing America’s free enterprise system.
Yet Peterson seemed genuinely uncomfortable to be filmed at the Occupy rally. If he’s a Marxist who subscribes to the Occupy agenda, he should at least come clean so his membership will know what kind of person is running their union.
Verdin was not the most offensive speaker at the rally. That dishonor is reserved for Gilbert Johnson, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 82.
Maybe Johnson was just peeved because the massive Big Labor effort to remove Walker from office failed so miserably. Perhaps he was just trying to please his young radical audience.
Or maybe Johnson really believes that Walker voters are a "bunch of haters" who advocate for "white man rule."
"You never see this at a Tea Bag, man," Johnson said, standing before a sign that said "Repeal Act 10."
What you have is a bunch of haters, people that tell lies, people that want to go back to the '50s. White man rule. White man only.
Here in the state of Wisconsin we have people that lie. They want money and they only care about themselves.
You know the statistic came out that the minority population would soon be exceeding the white population and all of the sudden we start having fear. And they started [saying] "Let's get guns. And you know, let's go back to the '50s ways, where we could just kill people and hang people" and go back to that time that we tried to get so far away from. That's what we're up against.
We’re up against people … who want to concentrate on those type of things so they don’t have to concentrate on their pocketbooks. In the meantime, they’re voting for someone who’s taking money out of their pockets, but tells them they can have guns and be hateful.
For what it's worth, we’ve never heard Gov. Walker, or anyone in Wisconsin for that matter, call for white people to arm themselves or act violently toward minority citizens.
And when it comes to people who "want money" and "care only about themselves," that sounds more like a very accurate description of Wisconsin public sector union leaders.
Being bitter about an election result is one thing. Accusing an entire state of blatant racism is quite another.
Do the members of AFSCME Local 82 really want a person like this to be their president?